Sunday, September 2, 2007

FEBRUARY, 1963: Joey Lomangino & Padre Pio

Joey being blessed by padre Pio

Joey receives Holy Communion from
the hands of Padre Pio


Joey Lomangino was born on June 27, 1931, in the area of Brooklyn (U.S.A.) from Italo-American parents. He was the eldest of five boys and one girl. In 1947, while he was watching a car tire being inflated, Joey received the rim in his face. The bones of the forehead were crushed, the optic and olfactory nerves were damaged. He was three weeks in a coma before he woke up . . . on the 16th of July (Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel)! Plunged in total darkness since his accident, Joey will recover his sight on the day of the Miracle.

In 1961, he traveled to Italy and met St. Padre Pio for the first time, at the monastery of San Giovanni Rotondo. Although they had never met, the famous Capuchin greeted the American with these words: "Ah, Joey, how happy I am to see you!"

February 1963, Joey made another trip to Europe. He went back to see Padre Pio, who heard his confession and . . . miraculously restored the use of his olfactory sense . . . while the nerve still remains severed! Joey not only, then, recovered his Christian Faith, but Padre Pio would even encourage him to go to San Sebastian de Garabandal, after he had assured him very clearly that, "Yes, it is true, the Blessed Virgin is appearing at Garabandal!" Joey was far from being the only one to whom the great Italian stigmatist would confirm the authenticity of the apparitions: in addition to Conchita herself, may we mention, among others, Frs. Pel and Marcelino Maria Andreu, Padre Gustavo Morelos ( from Mexico), Mr. John Haffert (then President of the "Blue Army" of Fatima), Miss Eloisa Deguia.

[From 'Garabandal' Book, pages 166-167]

This brings back many memories for me. I was with Joey in the early 1970's as he gave conferences on Padre Pio and Garabandal. He always started his talks with the Rosary and I ran the slide projector showing scenes of the Mystery being prayed. When he gave his talk, I showed pictures of Garabandal.

Some of the things said above were a little distorted from what Joey told us personally. For instance, it wasn't a car tire that blew up in his face, but a truck tire, and from his father's ice truck, no less! He was helping his father fix the tire. Strangely, Joey's mother had a premonition as he was going out the door to help his father. His mother saw a black cloud over Joey's face and told him to stay home. He said, "No, Mom, I have to help dad with the tire." Later that day
there was that dreadful accident.

When Joey went to see Padre Pio the first time, he was not in a state of grace and had been living a wild life, considering he was blind. He had a nervous breakdown and it was his doctor who told him to take a vacation. His relatives took him to Italy to see those kin still living there. They took him to see Padre Pio, hoping for a miracle, that he would see again!

When Joey went back to see Padre Pio the second time, he went to confession to him. Joey said that he couldn't remember all his sins cause he was so nervous, so Padre Pio said, "Don't worry, Joey, Jesus and Mary love you," and started to tell Joey all the sins of his life. Then he asked if he was sorry and absolved him. That was when Joey received his sense of smell, like an explosion, back again. He hadn't smelled anything for 26 years and it knocked him off his feet! What was also amazing also was that Padre Pio spoke to Joey in perfect English!

There's so much I could tell here but it would fill a lot of pages. I'll just end it by saying, if it wasn't for Joey and all the "Workers" who helped him, I probably wouldn't have been ordained a deacon. I truly believe that by venerating the Large Medal that Joey had people kiss after his talks, (given to him by Conchita and kissed by Our Lady) was the instrument of God's grace to help me convert from my wild life and dedicate it to God, through Our Lady of Mount Carmel
de Garabandal!
Roman Deacon